Sunday 21 November 2010

Tess interrupted

I have always been fascinated by the idea Baron Frederic d'Erlanger's opera based on Hardy's Tess of the d'Urbervilles, though I've never heard a note of it. The libretto was written by Luigi Illica, who wrote librettos for Puccini. Now I find out from the latest British Music Society Newsletter that the opera was premiered in Naples in 1906, at the San Carlo, and the premiere was interrupted by volcanic eruption from Mount Vesuvius - surely a reason in itself for someone digging out the opera.

In fact Hyperion are recording d'Erlanger's Violin Concerto as a coupling to that of Frederick Cliffe. D'Erlanger's concerto was championed by Kreisler; Hyperion's disc will be issued in February so we'll be able to judge for ourselves then.

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